Tuesday, March 10, 2009

History Buffs & Genealogists: News From the Archives

News from the National Archives-Great Lakes Region
http://www.archives.gov/great-lakes/archives/
March 2009

Apologies for any cross-posting.

This is the National Archives-Great Lakes Region's monthly E-News announcement. Please feel free to share this with anyone you feel may be interested in learning more about the National Archives-Great Lakes Region.

In this issue:
1. Upcoming "Second Saturday" Research Hours.
2. Construction Work and Closures of Research Areas.
3. Keeping the Lights Burning: Registers of Lighthouse Keepers, 1845-1912.

4. Upcoming Public Programs.

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1. Upcoming "Second Saturday" Research Hours: Saturday, March 14 and Saturday, April 11.

In addition to the National Archives-Great Lakes Region's regular hours of 8:00 AM to 4:15 PM Monday through Friday, the Regional Archives in Chicago is also open to the public the second Saturday of every month from 8:00 AM to 4:15 PM. Researchers interested in using original historical records or microfilm held by the Regional Archives are encouraged to contact a reference archivist ahead of time by phone (773-948-9001) or email (chicago.archives@nara.gov ).

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2. Construction Work and Closures of Research Areas.


In order to bring the Regional Archives into compliance with updated security guidelines, we will need to be closed on short notice for several days to complete several renovation projects. The first phase of this project has been completed, but additional work is continuing, often on short notice.


We will make every effort to find alternate locations for researchers within our building until this project is completed. However, in some cases it may be necessary to temporarily close the microfilm research room for several days on short notice. If you are planning to conduct research at the National Archives-Great Lakes Region in the near future, please contact us by phone (773-948-9001) or email (chicago.archives@nara.gov ) prior to your visit to ensure that the research room will be open on the day you will be visiting.

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3. Keeping the Lights Burning: Registers of Lighthouse Keepers, 1845-1912.

Researchers interested in the history of lighthouses on the Great Lakes as well as the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines will be interested in National Archives Microfilm Publication M1373: Registers of Lighthouse Keepers, 1845-1912. This microfilm publication of records held in the Washington DC area is held by many of the National Archives' Regional Archives, including the Great Lakes Region in Chicago.

The registers from Record Group 26, Records of the United States Coast Guard, were compiled chronologically. Their content varies; earlier registers include all or several geographic regions. The registers are organized by individual lighthouses and will include the names of the lighthouse keeper as well as the first, second, and third assistants; their annual salary; dates of appointment and date of oath; and a record of their quarterly payment. Additionally, each volume includes an alphabetical index by surname of keeper and/or name of lighthouse. Because the information was updated quarterly, these registers will be useful for filling in information on individuals between the decennial population censuses.

Reference maps from 1889 showing the lighthouse [district] pertinent to each region have been filmed at the beginning of each roll.

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4. Upcoming
National Archives-Great Lakes Region Events for the General Public.

a) Black Women in History: Harriet Tubman's Fight Against Slavery (Friday, March 20, 10:30 A.M. - 12:00 P.M., National Archives-Great Lakes Region). Cost: Free.

Come join actor Pamela J. Welcome for a presentation on the life of Harriet Tubman, famed African American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the U.S. Civil War. Welcome's presentation will be a mixture of first person interpretation and formal presentation on Tubman's life and experiences.

LIMITED SEATING. To reserve a space for this workshop, please call 773-948-9001 or email chicago.archives@nara.gov with the names, phone number, and (if possible) email addresses for all attendees.

b) Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power (Thursday, April 16, 6:30 P.M. - 9:00 P.M., National Archives-Great Lakes Region). Cost: Free.

As part of the year-long 200th birthday celebration of Abraham Lincoln, the National Archives-Great Lakes Region will host internationally recognized Abraham Lincoln scholar, Dr. Richard Carwardine, to discuss his book, Lincoln: a Life of Purpose and Power. Carwardine is the Rhodes Professor of American History, St. Catherine College at Oxford University in England. He is the incoming President of Corpus Christi College at Oxford University and he recently received the Order of Lincoln, the highest honor given by the State of Illinois, granted by the Lincoln Academy. A generous grant by the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission is sponsoring Carwardine's visit, and the Illinois Library System Directors' Organization endorsed it. .

Carwardine's book explores how and why events unfolded, such as: How did audiences react to the Lincoln-Douglas Debates? How did Lincoln develop the idea of "A house divided against itself cannot stand"? How did Lincoln make decisions to lead our country out of its darkest hours? How did Lincoln cope with people growing impatient as the war dragged on and became less popular? How and why did Lincoln free the slaves?

c) Spring 2009 Workshop: Using Court Records to Find Local and Family History (Saturday, May 9, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM, National Archives-Great Lakes Region). Cost: $10.00.

Archivists from the National Archives-Great Lakes Region and the Archives Department of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County will give an overview of how court records can be used to uncover a wealth of information about people's lives as well as the social, legal and economic issues that brought them to court.

LIMITED SEATING. To reserve a space for this workshop, please call 773-948-9001 or email chicago.archives@nara.gov with the names, phone number, and (if possible) email addresses for all attendees.

d) Primarily Teaching Workshop for Teachers (Monday-Friday, July 13-17, 2009, National Archives-Great Lakes Region). Cost: $100.00. Limited to 10 teachers.

Teachers of history, geography, government, civics, sociology, psychology, economics, American Studies, literature, and the humanities from upper elementary through college levels take Primarily Teaching. Librarians, media specialists, archivists, and museum educators also find it useful to their work. Primarily Teaching demonstrates secondary strategies, but educators at all levels can easily adapt them to their particular needs. Teachers can earn continuing education credits and can receive 3 graduate credits, in either history or education, from George Mason University. For more information, please visit the National Archives web site at: http://www.archives.gov/education/primarily-teaching/ .

e) Summer 2009 Workshop: African-American Genealogical Research (Saturday, August 8, 2009 from 10:00-11:30 AM, National Archives-Great Lakes Region). Cost: $10.00.

Renowned lecturer, author, and genealogist Tony Burroughs will present a program on African-American family history research. Mr. Burroughs will address the special challenges presented to those researching African-Americans. Information on finding Federal records relating to African-Americans will be discussed.

LIMITED SEATING. To reserve a space for this workshop, please call 773-948-9001 or email chicago.archives@nara.gov with the names, phone number, and (if possible) email addresses for all attendees.

f) Annual Civil War Symposium (Saturday, October 3, 2009, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the First Division Museum, Cantigny in Wheaton, IL). Cost: $40.00 for the general public; $20.00 for teachers and round table members; $10.00 for senior citizens (60+), students with valid ID, and veterans and active duty military.

Join noted Civil War historians James McPherson, Craig Symonds, John Marszalek, and Paul Finkelman as they discuss notable events and personalities of the Civil War including Abraham Lincoln and John Brown. Tour a Civil War encampment; meet Abraham Lincoln; hear a cannon's roar; spend some quality time doing period activities with your children; see a realistic Civil War surgeon's operating tent; watch the First Infantry Division's mounted color guard in action, or just tour the magnificent museum and grounds at Cantigny. Teachers can earn continuing education credits for attending.

g) Fall 2009 Workshop: Preparing Your Historical Research for Publication (Saturday, November 14, 2009, National Archives-Great Lakes Region). Cost: $10.00.

This workshop will focus on communicating effectively. It will include a discussion of essential writing skills, such as organization, documentation, effective word choice, and clarity. M. Teresa Baer and Rachel M. Popma, editors at the Indiana Historical Society Press, will also discuss larger issues with writing projects, such as defining your purpose, setting your scope, writing to your audience, and choosing the best format for the presentation of different kinds of materials.

LIMITED SEATING. To reserve a space for this workshop, please call 773-948-9001 or email chicago.archives@nara.gov with the names, phone number, and (if possible) email addresses for all attendees.


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The National Archives and Records Administration-Great Lakes Region is at
7358 South Pulaski Road, Chicago, approximately 2 ½ miles southeast of Midway Airport. The entrance is located one block west on 75th Street. We encourage reader feedback on what you may like to see in future issues or any other comments. Send any comments or suggestions to chicago.archives@nara.gov with the subject line of "NARA-Great Lakes February E-News Comment."

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